The original food trucks were sometimes nicknamed “roach coaches” because they would often scatter from one spot to another, probably because they were evading parking restrictions or traffic enforcers.
But as food trucks have gained in popularity and legitimacy, they’re beginning to stake their claim on territory. In San Francisco, you don’t have to follow your favorite trucks on Twitter when you’re hankering for a gourmet burrito or simple ethnic food, you just have to drop in on the SOMA Streat Food Park.
Patterned after Portland’s permanent food pods, the food park opened earlier this summer as a safe haven for food trucks looking for a place to park. Granted, it’s not necessarily in a high foot-traffic area (at the corner of South Van Ness and 11th Street across from CostCo), it is a welcoming place to eat street food, with lots of seating, a covered area with a flat-screen TV, and restrooms.
The park is open every day for lunch and dinner, with different food trucks each day, so you do have to check SOMA Streat Food’s Twitter feed or Facebook to get the day’s line up. The weekends seem to gather more trucks (the space looks like eight trucks could park there), while the weeknights might attract about four to five trucks.
Still, the people behind the park are trying to generate a regular food-truck-eating community with special events and live music on certain nights.
What I like about visiting the park is that you discover new trucks all the time. For example, I tasted from the La Pastrami truck for the first time, trying a pastrami burrito. The truck offers all things pastrami, including a pastrami quesadilla and pastrami fries. On another day I tried sweets from SF Delights, a dessert truck in a former ambulance serving up Asian fusion desserts.
In San Francisco, we’re getting close to the season of Indian summer when the city finally gets some warm weather. So that’s the perfect time to discover this truck stop for gourmet food lovers.
SOMA StrEAT Food Park, 428 11th St., San Francisco. Open weekdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m.; and weekends, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. somastreatfoodpark.com
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